Animal Friends Blog
As part of Real Stories, where we get to showcase some of the fantastic charities we have the privilege of working with and the hard work they do, we visited the Hawk Conservancy Trust. Last time we drove to Scotland to see Whale and Dolphin Conservation, so the drive was a lot shorter for our second Real Story as our offices are only 20 minutes away.
What were we there to see?
We’ve donated to the Hawk Conservancy Trust in the past and understand the importance of their work in the fields of conservation, education, research and rehabilitation. Visiting the Trust gave us a chance to see some of the work they do first-hand and meet some of the amazing birds in their care.
What we got up to
When we arrived, we met up with Louise Cox, Marketing and Communications Manager, and Hannah Shaw, Conservation and Research Liaison, who talked us through the day and a little bit more about the Trust.
As locals, we were ashamed to admit that we’d never visited before, and while we’d seen the brown signs we’d never thought to pop by for the day, which is one of the many problems the Trusts faces as they couldn’t do their vital work without their daily visitors.
So, we got to enjoy everything the Hawk Conservancy Trust had to offer for the first time, and it’s just a magical place.
Learning about the Hawk Conservancy Trust
Just before one of their first flying displays of the day we met with Tom Morath, Fundraising Events Manager and part of the Bird Team, who had one of the magnificent Bald Eagles on his arm. Tom talked us through some of the work they get up to at the Trust, the UK and overseas. We were shocked to learn about the struggles that birds of prey face in the wild, and that vultures are the most threatened group of birds in the world.
Wings of Africa
After talking to Tom, we had the privilege of watching just some of the birds showcase their magnificence at the Wings of Africa flying display. We witnessed an African Fish Eagle splashing the audience, the wings of a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl just miss the heads of the captivated spectators, and a Secretary Bird showing off its hunting skills as it dropkicked a rubber snake.
National Bird of Prey Hospital™
After the fantastic display, we headed over to the National Bird of Prey Hospital and met with Cedric Robert, the Hospital Manager. He helped us gain an insight into the importance of the hospital and its work treating, monitoring and rehabilitating wild, sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey.
We have donated £50,000 towards the Hospital and we’re excited to see it once all the refurbishment work’s been completed.
Valley of the Eagles
After a lovely lunch, we headed towards Reg’s Wildflower Meadow to see some more of the Trust’s wonderful birds in action. This time it was the turn of a team of vultures, some Black Kites, a Peregrine Falcon and a Bald Eagle to show off their swoops, glides, strength, and hunting skills which were just amazing to see.
If you’re not a vulture fan when you arrive, you’ll be a lover when you leave.
We didn’t get a chance to see the Woodland Owls, but we made sure to stop by the shop on the way out!
It’s worth visiting the Hawk Conservancy Trust, you’ll be able to see some beautiful birds of prey while supporting the Trust’s work in conservation, education, research and rehabilitation. I loved it so much I went back a few weeks later, family in tow.
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